On being rescued: part 1

The other day I was writing the date on a prescription chart: 6th July 2010. I suddenly had a flashback to a most significant day in my life: 6th July 1989.

On that day, I caused the death of a 12 year old, severely disabled girl.

A child’s grave in Highgate Cemetery

I had been training as an anaesthetist for 17 months, and was getting quite cocksure about my abilities. This young girl turned up to have restorative dental work. I inserted a cannula into the vein, gave the drugs and intubated her windpipe for the anaesthetic gases. Then I felt the pulse. It wasn’t there.

We tried to resuscitate her for an hour. Nothing worked. My bosses assured me that these things happen, and I wasn’t to blame. One of them even said to me, that morning, “But for the Grace of God, go I.” As many of you will be familiar, memories of personal tragedies are burned into the memory with photographic clarity. I still can remember every single detail, 21 years later.

I reckon the start of my reconversion to Catholicism to that date, written in the UK  as 6/7/89.

That consecutive sequence of digits had a sadly profound effect on my next steps……

This story will be continued, but it is too long for a blog post. Lets take it in small measured paces.

For now, good reader, I would like to ask for comments detailing those moments in your lives that have proven crucial to your own life of Faith.

(Please note, I am not looking for hugs. Prayers, privately said, for me, thee, the girl, and her family are of course encouraged).

Continue to part 2

About Brother Burrito

A sinner who hopes in God's Mercy, and who cannot stop smiling since realizing that Christ IS the Way , the Truth and the Life. Alleluia!
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32 Responses to On being rescued: part 1

  1. Mundabor says:

    Extremely touching, Brother Burrito.

    I still can’t see the link between her heart ceasing to beat and your “causing her death”, but it is obvious that this horrible experience has marked you.

    Fortunately, in my life I never had to live such situations. I assume that a medical doctor is trained (or becomes trained) to deal with such events, thought when they come they must be like a load of bricks anyway.
    I often wonder how is the life of an oncologist, having to say to so many people that yes, they have a cancer and yes, it is malign and yes, it is very probably too late now. I assume they try to shut up the emotional component but again, is this possible?!…

    M

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  2. shieldsheafson says:

    Easter, April 2004; my stroke and nervous breakdown.
    Christmas, 2004; my pulmonary embolism.
    Sometime in 2005; a meeting with a remarkable man – a devout Buddhist – a psychologist who directed me (back) to Christianity.
    Christmas 2005; the diagnosis of my dearest friend’s pancreatic cancer.
    October 2007; my dearest friend’s death.
    January 2008; the tragic death of my son’s beloved and the witness of his crucifixion – ‘My God, Why have Your forsaken me?’
    October 2008; An Anglican priest, St. Mark and St Athanasius.
    Christmas 2008; I was passing a Carmelite Monastery and wandered in and spoke to a nun who remains unknown to me.

    After nearly 50 years, I knew then that I had finally come home – 25th December, 2008.

    All which I took from thee I did but take,
    Not for thy harms,
    But just that thou might’st seek it in My arms.
    All which thy child’s mistake
    Fancies as lost, I have stored for thee at home:
    Rise, clasp My hand, and come!”
    Halts by me that footfall:
    Is my gloom, after all,
    Shade of His hand, outstretched caressingly?
    “Ah, fondest, blindest, weakest,
    I am He Whom thou seekest!
    Thou dravest love from thee, who dravest Me

    Deo Gratias
    Peter

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  3. frererabit says:

    Hermanito Burro de Dios,
    A very powerful post of a new and different kind than we have had so far: for this is the stuff of conversion and faith, isn’t it? If we can expand the theme and let it grow, this too will help us establish a different kind of Catholic blog. The confessional element you introduce here is very moving indeed. How many of us could live with that and have the strength to carry on in the job. What a brave and loving Burro you are!

    For me, a moment of a slightly smaller conversion, a moment beyond the ‘political’ spirituality of the 1980s with it’s ‘Faith in the City’ report – for us Anglicans – and Jesuits feeding us all ‘liberation theology’ which was a very attractive formula: a simple sociological distortion of the theology of the Sermon on the Mount really. I was part of the enormous bereavement counselling team on 1989 after the Hillsborough football disaster when 90 Liverpool football club fans died when the barriers collapsed. In those days of Archbishop Derek Warlock and Bishop David Shepherd (who had incidentally been an Anglican observer at Vatican II and told me about it), the ecumenical project was in its final swansong, as the women deacons queued up to be priests and the Apostolic claims would be no longer even credible to the C of E traditionalists. It was a last vision of a project that was doomed, and I converted soon after.

    But the real moment of extraordinary power for me, which led to a broadening of my narrow political focus in the church came on the occasion of the Memorial Service for Victims of Hillsborough, a month after the event itself. (In the Catholic Metropolitan Cathedral – ‘Paddy’s Wigwam’ – a requiem Mass had been said on the Sunday (next day) with thousands in attendance gathered outside the cathedral. I was there.

    But the Anglican occasion a month later was a ‘tickets only’ event with all the important people from London in attendance. Mrs Thatcher was the main focus of the service and the attendant media.

    Your unfortunate Anglican Franciscan frere rabit was there to support a grieving family, but had been given the wrong colour coded ticket, so had to sit in the front row of the transept with all the police from South Yorkshire (reviled by the people of Liverpool for being ‘responsible’ for the deaths of nearly a hundred people).

    I sat in Franciscan habit next to a young policewoman who sobbed all the way through the service. At the moment when the cathedral choir sang a setting of ‘You’ll Never Walk Alone’ – starting with a boy soloist and going to a crescendo with the whole choir – everyone was on tears. The WPC next to me was totally inconsolable. The constable next to her on the other side of her shifted awkwardly in his chair. I placed my hand on her elbow and and she nodded slowly as she sobbed.

    Mrs Thatcher made her way along that first row on the transept shaking the hands of the police (having walked past all the grieving families) as she made her way to lay a memorial stone on the south side.

    When she got to me, she said, ‘Are you the chaplain to the South Yorkshire Police?’

    ‘No, ma’m,’ I replied. ‘Just had the wrong colour ticket.’

    I don’t remember looking at the young WPC’s face, so I cannot picture it. I just remember that on that day I dropped the class war and became a Christian for all.

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  4. Benedict Carter says:

    My own story shall be a heavily edited version of a wilful four-year descent into hell.

    A baptised Catholic, an ardently pious little boy who loved being an altar server and loved being on the Sanctuary more than all else, an early desire to be a priest.

    Family difficulties, a non-Catholic high school, a Sacramentally invalid marriage, all lead to a virtually complete break with faith and God (on my side at least). Great unhappiness, many years of loneliness followed by divorce. Another five years alone follow, then at last a new love affair with an extremely beautiful Russian girl. New hope, joy, physical fulfillment. And then the train crash when she disappears after a year with the money, mobile phones, credit cards. Calls me once only, threatening me with violence if I try to find her. Serious illness and a nervous breakdown follow; collapse of my first business in Russia, near bankruptcy.

    A desire for revenge takes hold and suggestions are made by some serious players as to how that revenge might be had; pressure is then applied to follow through. Initial steps are taken, yet somehow the very serious temptations to which I am subjected and the headlong descent into evil are escaped. Visits to doctor continue regularly.

    In the end, a night of complete collapse, rivers of tears, and finally the prayer of utter desperation that leads to my deliverance from the hell in which I had deliberately chosen to live: minutes after John Paul II’s death I become aware of the fact and beseech him to intercede for me, a great sinner unable to continue to live without God’s help.

    The same instant, an interior locution of great power stuns me: “You must go to Confession”.

    A sleepless night, questioning myself about what I had “heard”. The morning, a walk (still crying) to find a taxi to the Catholic Cathedral I knew existed but not where; a stumbling explanation to a young Polish priest who happens to speak perfect English and sees that something very important is going down; an hour with him alone; a readmission immediately following to the Body and Blood of our dear Saviour, Jesus Christ; a three year recovery with regular Confession and reception of Holy Communion.

    Finally a reawakening and a thawing of an icy and pitiless heart.

    The creation of a new business; my resolution of a serious crisis undergone by the mother of my daughter which leads to forgiveness for past hurts and new friendship; the formation of other good new friendships; the escape from Russia and finally, the joy (at two minutes to midnight in her pre-adult life) of having my beloved daughter live with me (my greatest dream) for a few months, the first time since she was two years old, before she leaves Portugal and starts a new life in England, where she was born; the purchase of a little house, my first for twenty-two years.

    HOW GREAT IS THE MERCY OF GOD TO ME, A SINNER, AND HOW GREAT HIS GRACE TO TOUCH EVEN MY HEART!

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  5. Brother Burrito says:

    I am truly at a loss to know what to write after two such powerful, heart sourced testimonies. God bless you both for your courage, and witness.

    With this thread, I have opened up something very deep, and may God help us to make good of it all.

    Every Conversion story is worthy of a book, and each is fascinating. Perhaps St John in the closing verse of his Gospel was referring to this fact when he wrote:

    “There are also many other things that Jesus did, but if these were to be described individually, I do not think the whole world would contain the books that would be written.” Amen

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  6. Brother Burrito says:

    shieldsheafson,

    More from you please, as you feel able.

    This blog is meant to be a meeting place for the serious seekers after truth, and witness.

    Your brave example will inspire many others, I am sure.

    God love you.

    Like

  7. joyfulpapist says:

    Thank you, Brother Burrito, Frere Rabit, Ben, for sharing your stories. I have tears in my eyes.

    The moment of truth I want to share was far less dramatic. Through many small steps, God brought me to a moment when I knelt in Mass at my son’s baptism.

    I was a devout Anglican, married to a devout Catholic. During our courtship we had each promised to support the other in their own faith. Through those two and a half years, and for the next five, we went to two services every Sunday: one Anglican, one Catholic, as we strove to live out our vision of respect and faithfulness in an inter-faith marriage.

    But I could never consider becoming a Catholic. I told my family and my friends so. There were so many teachings of the Church I could never accept – though step-by-step, without my realising, the number of such teachings was whittled away through my husband’s exploration of his faith with me.

    Then, quite undramatically, as I knelt at my son’s baptism and watched my husband and his brother and sister go up to receive the Eucharist – taking with them my son and daughter, a niece, and two nephews – I had a moment of revelation.

    From this point forward, I would always be divided from my family. Their as yet unconceived younger brothers and sisters would be baptised. They would go on to receive the other sacraments of the Church – the Eucharist, Confirmation, perhaps marriage or Holy Orders. And I would kneel in the pew and watch.

    Did I feel strongly enough about the ideas that divided us for this to be our lives from this point forward?

    And there and then the Holy Spirit put it into my heart that there was really only one question. Answer that, and the rest would fall into place. Did the Catholic Church have grounds for its claim to be the Church that Christ founded? The Church that the new testament tells us had the power to teach, the power to bind and loose?

    So I set myself the task of finding the answer to that question. Six months later I was received into the Church, and made my first Confession and my first Holy Communion. And shortly after that, our little family’s greatest trial to that point began, when our dear son was diagnosed with cancer.

    Praise be to God who woke me up in time so that we could meet that challenge together.

    Like

  8. joyfulpapist says:

    And sheildsheafson – thank you.

    Like

  9. Benedict Carter says:

    Mark 8:23-29

    And taking the blind man by the hand, he led him out of the town; and spitting upon his eyes, laying his hands on him, he asked him if he saw any thing. 24 And looking up, he said: I see men as it were trees, walking. 25 After that again he laid his hands upon his eyes, and he began to see, and was restored, so that he saw all things clearly.

    26 And he sent him into his house, saying: Go into thy house, and if thou enter into the town, tell nobody. 27 And Jesus went out, and his disciples, into the towns of Caesarea Philippi. And in the way, he asked his disciples, saying to them: Whom do men say that I am? 28 Who answered him, saying: John the Baptist; but some Elias, and others as one of the prophets. 29 Then he saith to them: But whom do you say that I am? Peter answering said to him: Thou art the Christ.

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  10. heracletian says:

    This is a very moving post with touching comments. Hard to add much – except that it caused pause for thought about those turning points in my own life.

    Like

  11. mmvc says:

    Young, newly wed and with a child on the way, my husband and I moved to London in search of work. Living in sordid digs and juggling various temporary jobs, the stability we longed for our baby to be born into remained an elusive dream. The bigger my bump, the more desperate I became. One gloomy and wet day in June 1984, curled up in the basement flat and utterly sick and worried about our uncertain future, I called out to God: where are You in all of this? It was my first prayer from the heart for years. I’d started turning away from my childhood faith in my teens. The answer was instant. A brilliant light and sense of a loving presence flooded my soul. It was breathtaking. I knew it was God. Then came His call for me to commit to Him. There were no words, just an inner prompting. I realised the implications of total surrender and said ‘no’.
    About a year later, blessed with a healthy baby boy, a secure job and settled in our first home in the West Country, I was diagnosed with a malignant melanoma. Then came the devastating news that my Dad had pancreatic cancer and my brother was in a coma following a road accident (my Dad, only in his fifties, died a holy death; my brother and I recovered fully). The fact that all my family live abroad made matters worse. What could I do but fall to my knees? Only this time, ready to surrender, I returned to the sacraments and have never looked back. How good and merciful is our God!

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  12. Benedict Carter says:

    mmvc:

    This thread is a revelation. Well done to that donkey for starting it. Even for making me shed some more tears tonight, but now not only brief tears of remembered grief and despair, but of lightness of heart!

    What stories – joyful, mmvc, rabit! What love God extends to those who ask Him for help from the depths of their soul! Was anyone ever turned away? Not one, ever, and He will always be calling out to souls.

    Please God through this blog we can make His voice heard to other souls in despair, grief, desperation, torment.

    And if any such souls come to read this ‘thread’, I pray that you will understand that in your desperation, you are already very close to the doctor Who can heal your soul … I know I needed to be broken into a thousand pieces before I could find enough humility to see clearly that I could not “do it on my own”. Perhaps you are the same too? If so, reach out to God our Father and He WILL come to you and your healing WILL begin.

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  13. piliersdelaterre says:

    This is not a damascene conversion story, (alas)- I think God is going for the drip, drip method with me. Maybe He finds it useful to have a stolid Empiricist on board, wingless and slow-learning! However, (My God, if only I were a real writer), my story begins in a supposedly serene and prayerful convent in London, where I was a guest for some weeks. Lucky me, a chance to turn away from the distractions of the World, and join with the Adorers of the Blessed Sacrament. First shock: there is a ruddy great poltergeist in the room above. I (and my parents, with whom I am gratefully encamped), try to ignore this, but ‘it’ does not LIKE being ignored. I go to Mass and the offices, filled with gratitude but a little apart, as I am not a communicant (and prefer the old Mass, and am slightly bemused by a chaplain from the States, who seems to be maniacally Arch-Modernist, hardly surprising if your subject is Evolutionary Archeology).
    Me at breakfast: Father, did you know there was a poltergeist in the guest-wing (i.e. do you as a priest intend to do anything about it?)
    “Oh, yes, there’s haunting in my rooms as well!” A more extravert & convivial a fellow you could not meet. Until the battle lines are drawn and we find that the Old Mass in Latin is Anathema (this after the Sumorum Pontificum). We scurry below to attend this Mass in the Crypt, alongside relics of the Martyrs (with a visiting Abbot). The Chaplain is – livid.
    His sermon follows- ” The English didn’t get it; the Americans didn’t get it- altogether; only the Dutch got it” (Vatican two). He seems very stressed somehow, and somehow a bit patronizing towards the nuns. One morning he brings a young man down to breakfast, introducing him vaguely as an ‘angel’. The young man is particularly good-looking, though his English is not good.
    Later, my parents are summonsed to see the Mother Superior- all very gentle, but a ticking off follows. My mother is accused of saying things against Vatican 2 at breakfast and “we can’t allow that here”. I come to dread breakfast times.
    Meanwhile I am praying as best I can (often feeling how Francis Bacon’s Pope Innocent X looked). There was marihujana in the stairwell last night. There is now a visiting guest – a lady student from Heythrop, friend of the chaplain. They often stop talking when we come in.
    It is a pity about my mother. The phrase foot in mouth comes to mind. Soon, all I am praying for is a break in the obvious tensions. I IMPLORE God to allow us all to love each other- somehow!
    The nuns sing so simply and so beautifully, but while we were there, one left the convent (rumoured she couldn’t cope with the chaplain). Now I am praying non-stop, and thankfully have run into a wonderful, poverty-striken Nigerian lady, who loves Pius X and is deeply, simply prayful. Phew! I take a turn in the library and find that there is a sharp demarcation between the devotional books written prior to the 60s and those after. It is no good- my brain is still in a whirl.
    But THIS morning, something happens which changes all that. I sense during Mass that God is (empirically speaking) aware of me in a way which is uniquely profound, intimate, and courteous. And at breakfast, something has thawed, and it IS a miracle: we speak gently of two different cultures- and the priest shows me his loneliness and cultural isolation, and yes, a kind of innocence, well-meaning. No fights.
    But still I won’t go to Communion, and later I overhear him in conversation with the Heythrop student- they are dismissive and arrogant of the ones who “don’t get it”.
    (I think God wants me to know that pride is the most dangerous of all presumptions.
    Just don’t get me on the subject of peaceful convent life!!)

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  14. kathleen says:

    Reading the above moving testimonies – also with tears in my eyes – confirms my belief that each one of us does indeed walk “a virgin path to God”. There are as many conversion tales (or otherwise!) as there are people.

    I was rescued too, and yet the strange thing is that through the cunningness of the devil, I never properly realised I had gone adrift until I was rescued!

    Right from the start I had the paradox of trying to tally a very sheltered Catholic upbringing at home with the turmoil of the changes of Vatican II and its aftermath in the world outside. Home life was happy, secure, prayerful; God, the angels and saints were very near, and we lived the liturgical year with its feasts and seasons as a natural part of life. And then I went to work in London on my own. Having been given a good knowledge of my Faith, a Faith that I’d embraced with love and joy, the challenges and dilemmas I was soon faced with hit me with a great shock and soon became increasingly impossible to deal with. I sought spiritual help and found none…….. it seemed as though even many priests were tainted by the “spirit of Vatican II” and the “anything goes, everything’s fine” mentality! I got in with the wrong crowd, and being weak and vulnerable, I gradually began to slip away from all that I had held so dear. Doubts set in, I stopped praying, and then grave temptations beset me as my faith weakened. Usually I still hypocritically went to Mass on Sunday out of habit, but the deep sense of loss of something very precious was a constant ache in my heart.

    Some years later, married and with three small children, I met my Simon of Cyrene by the grace of God. I’d heard there was a new woman, a Catholic called Susanna, a classics teacher, who had come to our town. She had just lost her husband and was feeling very sad and lonely. Something prompted me to go and meet her and offer my friendship. Little did I suspect at the time that this would be the start of my slow return to finding God and a love of my Catholic Faith once again!! Hours and hours of discussions, delving into history, the early Church fathers, the true content of the V II documents with Susanna (whose own conversion story from a family of Free Masons to the Catholic Church deserves its own telling) opened my eyes to the Truth. I’d always known it was there, but I had been confused and sort of “diverted”. I became for Susanna the daughter she’d never had, but what she gave to me is far more than anything I gave her…… she brought this lost sheep back to the loving arms of the Good Shepherd. Deo gratias.

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  15. Gertrude says:

    BB. I can only humbly concur with everyones comments and feel blest to see such witnesses of our Faith. Perhaps in all our lives we have asked (in Faith) for both the help and mercy of Almighty God and one thing for sure – He always supplies.

    Many 12 step programmes speak of admitting to God, ourselves and another human being the exact nature of our wrongs. Abbot Christopher Jamison (of Worth) in his beautiful book ‘Finding Happiness’ compares these to the lived experience of the desert, assuming that we find our souls and rescue it from the demons – only then are we on the way to inner freedom and happiness.

    May God bless you all who have bared their souls on this page.

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  16. Benedict Carter says:

    Gertrude:

    ” … rescue (our souls) from the demons”.

    I must point out that Gertrude has hit upon a vital point, absolutely central.

    Life is a spiritual warfare, and we contend with the devil and his demons who want us to choose grief, desperation, despair and ultimately eternal death.

    I heartily recommend the books by Fr. Gabriele Amorth (available from Amazon), the senior Exorcist of the diocese of Rome, for an understanding of the devil, the demons, their actions in the world (said by all exorcists to be growing alarmingly) and the means of deliverance.

    I know that I was placing myself in his hands, those few years ago. But Christ and the Grace that flow superabundantly from the Sacraments defeat him and always will. The devil has already lost the war, but our own individual battles with him go on until we die.

    Arm yourself with the sword of Confession, the breastplate of Holy Communion and the helmet of regular prayer; ride the charger of the Ten Commandments and your victory is assured.

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  17. omvendt says:

    “Life is a spiritual warfare, and we contend with the devil and his demons who want us to choose grief, desperation, despair and ultimately eternal death.”

    Benedict: I heartily agree, and I have read Fr Amorth’s books myself. I found his books interesting and instructive.

    Nevertheless, I think the following article bears reading: http://jimmyakin.typepad.com/defensor_fidei/2006/08/hes_baaaaaaaack.html

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  18. omvendt says:

    Those of us who in our youth were terrified by the movie ‘The Exorcist’ might find this article of some interest too: http://www.canonlaw.info/a_exorcism.htm

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  19. Brother Burrito says:

    He’s baaaaaaaack because nobody has been tending the fences.

    Too busy being nice to everyone, I suppose

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  20. kathleen says:

    That’s exactly what I was referring to in my post when I said the Devil was cunning; he sneaks into your life, and before you know it you are no longer on the straight and narrow. His greatest achievement, as we have all heard many times, is to have us believe he doesn’t even exist……. my, my, then he can certainly get his way with us!! This is one of the greatest errors of our times – the lack of belief in the Fallen Angel, the Devil. If there’s no Devil, where does temptation come from? No temptation = no sin; no sin = no need for repentence; no repentence = no……..!! I have heard even liberal minded priests scoff at these teachings, and when I was young and no longer living in my Catholic home and circle, this caused me much harm.

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  21. Benedict Carter says:

    Omendt:

    Fr. Amorth has already answered the questions asked by the writer of the blog you linked to. His number of exorcisms is so huge because it includes many simpler prayers of deliverance (ie., not the full ‘Ritual’), and because many of his patients require multiple exorcisms lasting on occasion for years.

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  22. FrereRabit says:

    Ben, re. Fr Amorth. etc..

    The word ‘patients’ is inappropriate, suggesting some kind of medical model, which the ministry of deliverance is not.

    Be careful in case you miss the point here. Every diocese has an exorcist, but the ministry is not a ‘clinician/patient’ model. It never has been. That idea reflects modernism. Exorcism is a case by case exploration of individual circumstances. It is generally very low key, and sometimes there is a psychological interpretation. (Most exorcists are very well qualified in psychology.

    On occasion – in a spiritual problem – a negative source is identified as the problem. This can be demonic in origin but it is very rare. Discernment is a gift of the Holy Spirit, and we need to listen to those who are attuned to these realities, and who are also authorised by the Church to speak on these things.

    That is why the gift of discernment is essential. If in doubt, speak to a priest. The young ones mostly have no idea about these things, but if you ask an older priest, you may have some success…

    ~..~
    ( ‘ )
    ‘ ‘

    Rational thinking is essential, but never forget that there is more to the journey. The demons lie in wait for us, and if we are complacent, we become their victims. I would rather be regarded as over-cautious than succumb to the

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  23. Benedict Carter says:

    Frere Rabit:

    “Patient” is Fr. Amorth’s own word.

    Every diocese does NOT have an exorcist. It is partly Fr. Amorth’s pleas directly to the Holy Father which have led to the Pope encouraging this vital work – because as Amorth writes, most bishops have never done an exorcism, and many even don’t believe in the devil.

    As to the rest of your post, Amorth acknowledges all your points throughout his two books. 🙂

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  24. toadspittle says:

    I must say I find the idea that the Devil is running the show makes a lot more sense than if God was.
    Makes everything fall neatly into place…

    Like

  25. toadspittle says:

    ”If there’s no Devil, where does temptation come from? No temptation = no sin; no sin = no need for repentence; no repentence = no……..!! ”

    Opines KATHLEEN.

    True, indeed, Kath. Where on earth would we be without the Devil?
    To paraphrase Voltaire, (Oh, go on, just a little bit – he won’t mind – he’s dead!)
    ”If the Devil didn’t exist, we would have to invent him.”

    He deserves a little sympathy, surely…

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  26. cumanus says:

    toadspittle: “I must say I find the idea that the Devil is running the show makes a lot more sense than if God was. Makes everything fall neatly into place…”

    Exactly what the Manicheans, Cathars, Albigensians held.

    Like

  27. kathleen says:

    Hi toadspittle….. btw, your’re not as scary now; when you were Moratinos and had that big white shark as your avatar, I kept well away!!!

    Many great saints had real battles with the Devil, the Cure d’Ars, St. Ignatius of Loyola, St. Padre Pio, to mention just a few.

    This is interesting:

    In the confessional, Padre Pio would say things such as:
    “Why did you sell your soul to the Devil? … How irresponsible! …You are on the way to Hell!”… O you careless man, go first and get repentance, and then
    come here…!” One person in confession questioned the very existence of Hell. Padre Pio responded, “You will believe it when you get there.”

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  28. cumanus says:

    Padre Pio was also a great snuffer.

    Like

  29. teresa says:

    Father Cumanus:
    “Exactly what the Manicheans, Cathars, Albigensians held.”
    ——-
    My teacher, who talked about the Manicheans recently, said the view that the evil comes from a separated principle independently from our free will leads eventually to a less responsible way of life. As we are powerless in face of the evil and not even responsible for it.

    Like

  30. Benedict Carter says:

    Weren’t the Albigensians Cathars? I thought the names were interchangeable.

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  31. Brother Burrito says:

    Yes, and what about the Bulgars?

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  32. toadspittle says:

    KATHLEEN, at 10.57

    How odd. Earlier today at mass two ‘pilgrims’ showed up, really looking for a handout. One told me that, since a nasty accident, he had been hearing a voice in his head and that he was now taking prescribed pills that make it (the voice, that is, not his head) go away.

    All straightforward, except that he said the voice was that of Saint Ignatius Loyola! Coo, er.

    I know I make up a lot of stuff, but this is true! ( Damn, they don’t believe me – serves me right!)

    And I’m clearly not being nasty enough. Sorry.

    Like

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